What are Cochlear Implants?
Cochlear implants are surgically implanted electronic devices that work by converting acoustic sounds into electrical pulses that stimulate the auditory nerve directly. Your auditory nerve transmits the signal to your brain, which recognizes the signal as sound.
Cochlear Implants cannot restore “normal” hearing; they replace the function of a damaged inner ear. Cochlear implants are the most suitable aural rehabilitation for those people with substantial sensorineural hearing loss, who achieve little or no benefit from conventional hearing aids. Several studies have demonstrated that cochlear implant recipients, children and adults, can have a much greater quality of life.
The components of a cochlear implant include:
A sound processor (1) worn behind the ear or on the body. The processor captures sound and turns it into digital code. It is powered by batteries. A coil (2) transmits the sound to the implant. An implant (3) converts the digitally-coded sound into electrical impulses and sends them along the electrodes placed in the inner ear.
There are 3 major cochlear implant manufacturers. The selection of the implant is a process that needs to be discussed between the patient, the surgeon and the audiologist.
Shown below are some examples of the latest sound processors
Nucleus 6 from
The Opus 2 from
RONDO – single unit from Med-El
Naida CI Q70 from Advanced Bionics
Neptune and Neptune Connect from Advanced Bionics